Domestic violence education 'needed' says victim's family

  • 29 August 2013
  • From the section Health
Hannah Fisher

Home Secretary Theresa May says domestic violence is considered "a norm" by too many men and some women.

May has spoken in parliament about how police in England and Wales can improve how they handle cases of domestic violence.

Her comments come as the family of a domestic abuse victim call for lessons on domestic violence to be made compulsory in schools.

In 2009 Hannah Fisher was killed after breaking up with her boyfriend.

Her mother, Debbie, and her cousin, Leoni Harrison, say they don't want her death to be forgotten and have described their experiences to BBC Radio 4's World at One programme.

Debbie says the 21-year-old was "very bubbly, bright, loved reading and very chatty".

She added: "She always wanted to see the best in people, she didn't like people running anybody down."

Hannah met her ex-boyfriend Simon Marsh when she was back in Swindon during a break from university.

He was having trouble getting a job and decided that the couple should move to Grantham in Lincolnshire together.

'More controlling'

Debbie says that, at that early stage, there were no signs of him being particularly controlling and says that Hannah "was completely taken in by it".

She says that from this point on, her and Hannah's relationship started to break down as Simon started to tell her she wasn't good enough to be at university.

"He started being less charming and more controlling," she said.

"He stopped her seeing all her other friends. He wanted to know what she was doing all the time."

Debbie says that one day Hannah called her and said she wanted to leave Simon. She says Hannah had lost lots of weight and didn't look well when they brought her home.

They say they had "a really nice Christmas" but Debbie was worried that Simon was still in contact with her daughter.

"I took her back up [to Leicester] on the Sunday before uni was going to start," she said. "That was the last time I ever saw her alive."

Wiltshire police say they found Hannah's body at Simon's bedsit.

"He murdered her, then left and killed himself," she said.

She says she thinks that Hannah met up with Simon after he had got hold of her new mobile number and told her he just wanted to be friends.

Police say that they believe Simon threw himself off the roof of the building later that night.

"We'll never know the full details," said Debbie. "I don't want people to forget who she was and what she went through.

"There really needs to be compulsory education about domestic violence and what a healthy relationship is."

If you've been affected by domestic violence you can get advice from the BBC's Action Line on 0800 044 044 on that topic until next Friday.

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